Operation Foxley was the name of the secret plan supported by Winston Churchill to assassinate Hitler in 1944–45. More than 75 years after its conception, the assassination plan remains shrouded in mystery. Eric Lee’s new book is the product of painstaking research and sheds more light on this plan.
This book asks what would have happened if Foxley had been executed successfully. Concocted in 1944 by the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), Foxley’s objective was to kill Hitler and any high-ranking Nazis or members of the Fuhrer’s entourage who might have been present at the time. Different methods of assassination had been considered by the SOE, but were ultimately deemed too complicated.
These methods included derailment and destruction of the Hitler’s personal train, the Fuhrerzug, by explosives, and also clandestine means such as slipping a tasteless poison into Hitler’s drinking and cooking water.
Some of the ideas were considered quite bizarre, including one scheme to hypnotise Rudolf Hess and return him to Germany to kill Nazi leaders. The Americans and Soviets had their own plans to kill Hitler too, with some equally strange ideas (including injecting female hormones into the Fuhrer’s vegetables).
Eventually, after intel gathered revealed that Hitler took a routine, solitary walk every morning to the Teehaus on the Mooslahnerkopf Hill from the Berghof residence, a plan was created to assassinate Hitler using a sniper rifle fitted with a silencer.
Britain’s Plot to Kill Hitler: The True Story of Operation Foxley and SOE by Eric Lee is published on 30 April, 2022.
He’s written more about researching the bizarre plots mentioned above in Down the rabbit hole – to kill Hitler.
Eric Lee is the author of several books about 20th-century history. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
He’s written several features for Historia linked to his research, including:
At the National Archives in Kew, the past comes alive
Writing popular history: Three lessons learned
The Georgian Experiment